Light Showers
Wind: 15 Southwest


Wind: 27 West


Wind: 06 West

Fragma Potamon

Wind: 13 West

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Fragokastelo - Kato Rodakino

Length: 14 km
Estimated time: 3.25 hours
Suggested period: January - December
Difficulty: None - paved road

Traditional dress

Elements that characterize a place are the language spoken there, morals and customs, traditions and legends, possible unique activities its residents are occupied with and, of course, the clothes they wear. The last element is very interesting because it transforms depending on climate conditions, soil morphology, national adventures and the influences this place received throughout its history.

Cretan traditional male clothes

Male clothes include many parts, the combination of which gives us the well-known picture of a Cretan man. Clothes are made by special tailors, called "terzides". Firstly, a Cretan man wears a shirt. White was worn in weddings, happy occasions and fairs, while black indicated grief. After the death of Eleftherios Venizelos in 1936, Cretans began to constantly wear black shirts, as an indication of timeless grief, which they only change in happy occasions. Over the shirt, Cretan men wear a vest. It is sleeveless and it is made of good quality baize of a dark blue colour. It can be straight or open, which lets the shirt show, or cross-like, which crosses its two lapels on the chest and closes entirely on the front side with buttons and button holes on the sides. The lapels are decorated with many lines of silk cordons of a black or dark blue colour, called "hartza". Then, a Cretan wears breeches, whose origin is in the pirates of Barbaria. It is also made of dark blue baize and embroidered with a black cordon at the seams. The breeches are complemented by socks, which used to constitute a separate part, but later began to be sewn on the breeches. After that, men wear their shoes or boots, which are white or black depending on the occasion, before they start to fold their belt around, half on the breeches and half on the vest. The belt is weaved with fine wool or pure silk and it has a blur or red colour. Its length is about 8 m and its width is 50 cm. In the belt, Cretan belt fasten their knife, which had a black or light-coloured handle and is V-shaped, which is unique all around the world. Its case is usually made from expensive metal (silver) and decorated with rich embossed patterns. Then, Cretan men wear a chain around their neck, which is the only piece of jewellery they wear and has a watch attached to one of its ends, which is kept in the vest pocket. On their heads, Cretan men wear a fez, which was later substituted by a black kerchief with densely sewn frills. Finally, a square is worn over the vest. It is a garment with sleeves, waisted and entirely open in the front. It is made with cloth of the same quality and colour as the vest and breeches and is decorated with black "hartza" at various points. On cold days, Cretan men wear a mantle on their shoulders. This short mantle also has a hood, made of the same baize cloth as the rest of the clothes. It is also decorated with weavings on the shoulders, elbows, back and lapels and, inside, it is enhanced with red baize with impressive weavings.

Cretan traditional female clothes

As regards female clothes, Cretan women continue to wear Byzantine clothes even after the island's occupation by the Venetians and approximately until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. They comprise two separate clothes with a kerchief on the head. Country women wore the same clothes, but these were of lower quality and there was also an apron, called "prosergion". The "sakofistano" (cardigan and skirt) was also common and it is still worn today, together with the apron, by elder women living in villages. Since the end of the 15th century, there is a tendency towards Italian fashion and wealthy Cretan country women follow the trends of urban women, who are dressed according to Venetian fashion.

When male breeches appeared in Crete, female clothes were also influenced. Young women borrowed the male square and named it "ziponi" (jerkin) and decorated it with golden cordons, so that it was later named xrisozipono. It is worth mentioning that the "ziponi", which leaves the chest uncovered, is very similar to the garment worn around the chest by women of Knossos. The "ziponi" was short and was worn over the dress, at first. Then, in the 17th century, the dress was divided in blouse and skirt. The blouse was gradually substituted by a woven shirt. Later on, these clothes were completed by the decorative apron, which remained from the Byzantine era. Nowadays, three characteristic pieces of female clothes are saved, each of which was first worn at a different part of Crete but then spread to the entire island. These are the "sfakiana" clothes, the "anogeiana" clothes, the "sartza" and the "Kritsa" clothes or "kouda". "Sfakiana" clothes were worn in celebrations or by brides on their wedding day at the region of Sfakia and then spread to the entire western part of the island. This kind of clothes has the oldest characteristics of all kinds from the early 20th century. They comprise a voluminous skirt, which is usually dark red or brown. On the lower part, there are two wide golden cordons. The shirt is white and woven, silk or cotton and has rich weavings or attached lace at the sleeve ends.

Over the shirt, women pot a waisted "ziponi", whose sleeves can be removable. It is black, brown or dark red and it is made of baize or good quality velvet. It has gold weaving in the front and a V-shaped opening at one point of its lower part. The kerchief can be red or dark red and tied on the head or it can be white and put loosely on the head. A woven white apron can be added, which is decorated with rich weavings. "Sartza" or "anogeiana" clothes were named after a basic part of these clothes that is apron-shaped and is called "sartza". It was worn on the entire island but even more at Anogeia, from which it took its name. These clothes comprise full trousers that are like trunk hoses at the lower part. A long full beige shirt is worn over that, which has the role of a dress, since it is so long that the trousers can just be seen at the lower part. There is a typical Cretan apron with reach weavings. The "sartza" is red and is tied at the back with its two tied ends put on the left side of the belt, which is also woven and red. The "ziponi" is made of baize in various colours, mostly black, and is richly decorated with golden cordons. There is a semicircular opening in the front, so that it does not cover the whole chest. The head kerchief is red or dark red with golden or yellow frills. "Kouda" or "Kritsa" clothes took their name from a skirt-shaped red garment, which is called "kouda" ("train" in Italian). Because of the way in which it is worn and tied at the back it takes a special train-like shape. These clothes are very similar to "anogeiana" clothes, since they comprise full trousers and long full shirt as well. The difference is that there is wide weaving on the trousers, identical to that on the apron. The "ziponi" has the same colour with the "kouda" and it is longer, covering the hips. The head kerchief is characteristic. It is white, very long and is tied in a particular way. Head jewellery plays a significant role in women's clothing, as they are not only used for decoration but also for protection. Chest, neck and waist jewellery indicate the financial and social status of a Cretan woman. The symbol-jewellery of the cross is also a significant part of women's clothing. Moreover, Cretan women wear bracelets, rings and coins, which are sewn on the kerchief, on the chest and on the waist. Finally, women's clothes are complemented by the "argirobounialaki", the women's knife, which is similar to the one that men carry, only smaller and fastened in the belt.




Αντρική Κρητική Παραδοσιακή Φορεσιά, Cretan traditional male clothes, Kretische Männertracht
Γυναικεία Κρητική Παραδοσιακή Φορεσιά, Cretan traditional female clothes,  Kretische Frauentracht